Sowell Pins the Tail on the SJW Donkeys in Social Justice Fallacies – The American
Social Justice Fallacies
By Thomas Sowell
(Basic Books, 224 pages, $28)
How fortunate we are to have Thomas Sowell to apply clarifying reason and evidence — both always in short supply — to the confused and dishonest rhetoric and toxic policies coming mostly from the cultural and political left. He’s done it again, to our advantage. Were there ever a Smartest Man in the Republic contest, I would put everything I have in the credit union on Sowell. It would be easy money.
Over the decades, in titles such as The Vision of the Anointed; Wealth, Poverty and Politics; Intellectuals and Society; Discrimination and Disparities; and Affirmative Action Around the World, Sowell has demonstrated with sound, fact-based analysis why government social policies of the past half century or more, flogged by intellectuals, careerist politicians, and groups with various ideological, electoral, and/or financial axes to grind, have failed time and time again. They’ve led not to the results those whooping up the policies promised but, in fact, to higher taxes, social toxicity, and more intrusive and coercive government. They not only haven’t solved the problems their sponsors said they would but have created new problems along the way, which called for new government policies to deal with the new problems. And the wheel goes round. (READ MORE from Larry Thornberry: A Lifetime of Sowell-Full Thought)
Sowell earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968, and he’s made contributions in that discipline. But as he’s demonstrated in more than 40 books, thousands of newspaper and magazine columns, and frequent broadcast interviews, his knowledge and expertise range far beyond the green eye-shade concerns of the dismal science.
Sowell’s latest, Social Justice Fallacies, just out this month, is well worth the price of admission and the reading time. It thoroughly dismantles the lame and fraudulent arguments of the social justice warriors who are making such a pest of themselves just now. Too many of their policies have been adopted, their untruths taken as gospel. The results have been disastrous.
We’ve all heard these villains braying about: systemic racism, police brutality, climate catastrophe, immigration reform, income disparity, white supremacy, legacy of slavery, sexism, disparate this or that, and endless sexual exotica and fads. Sowell counsels us not to continue to rise to the bait. All of these alarums and excursions are based on untruths and false assumptions and are mostly attempts by politicians to buy votes, by dreamy liberals to feel good about themselves, or simply exercises in ignorance.
Most of the social justice agenda has to do with either race or sex, areas where social justice warriors claim there is rampant discrimination by what they call the dominant group. That would be straight, white males. Everyone else is an oppressed victim, according to the crusaders. The warriors have succeeded in convincing millions of Americanos to believe this. It ain’t so. And Sowell, a black man who no sane person would suggest is a victim, shows us the evidence to prove this. (READ MORE: Thomas Sowell: Still Going Strong at 93)
The justice warriors never tire of pointing to differences in achievement or income among various groups and asserting that this is clear evidence of discrimination. And a need for more government spending to put things right. Sowell points out that the assumption that all groups would achieve at the same level absent discrimination by the dominant group is inconvenienced by the fact that no two groups in any society, in any place, at any time in history have ever been equal in anything. In fact, Sowell shows examples of societies where minority groups have outperformed the majority group.
Complex cultural and demographic factors, which Sowell parses, account for almost all of the differences. Discrimination against minorities has been real enough in parts of various societies’ histories, including in America until the back half of the last century. But the discrimination in most of the Western world now is in favor of minorities. This usually travels under the name of affirmative action, which Sowell says is not a cure for discrimination but just another form of it. Different targets. Same hustle.
Often the group differences the warriors fret about and want to bring to an end are caused by simple preferences. The fact that there are few women long-haul truckers has more to do with the fact that most women would rather work in an air-conditioned library than push a big rig through city traffic and eat truck stop food. In the Western world, at least, we’re in the second generation of people who should know better who are still shocked and offended by the fact that men and women, despite the best efforts of the smart set, stubbornly insist on being different.
The justice warriors’ obsessions with race and sex are understandable enough. A certain political party, which will remain unnamed (hint: it’s the Democrats), could not survive, let alone thrive, without 95+ percent of the black vote and a large majority of women voters. So Democrats have to be seen as saving these groups from their oppressors. Not all Democrats are social justice warriors. But just about all social justice warriors are Democrats.
The above are just a couple of areas where Sowell deconstructs, chapter and verse, with hard evidence and facts, the falsehoods of the hustlers and humbugs who’ve attempted, with more success than they deserved, to micro-manage our lives. It’s been a blessing to have had Sowell for so long acting as a truth squad, providing much-needed rationality in our increasingly irrational world.
From reading and reviewing several of Sowell’s books over the years, I know him to be a baseball fan and savvy about the game. In keeping with this, I can say that, at age 93, he hasn’t lost a step. He still has an intellectual fastball that liberals and progressives can’t get around on. So they’ve quit trying. They can’t best him, so they just ignore him. We shouldn’t. He has too much to offer. And he proves once again in Social Justice Fallacies. A primer for sanity in an insane time.